ALEX: Hello! Today’s Deaf Business Spotlight is… Red Chair Vintage in Fremont, California, The owner’s name is Kelly Krzyska and she rents a space inside a store, selling vintage clothes and items. Check it out!
KARINA: Hi, I’m in the Niles District, a old community in Fremont, California area. It’s the original Hollywood that starred Charlie Chaplin and others. There’s a Deaf business over here.
KELLY: Hello! I’m Kelly Krzyska. I’m the owner of this small business called Red Chair Vintage. See the sign here.
How did I get into vintage stuff? My mother influenced me. She also owned a vintage business.
My mom started her business in 2000. I helped a bit but didn’t really get into it. Just mostly helped out where I could. We loved talking about clothes. The fabric quality back then was very good, thick and not easily ripped.
I often go to thrift stores to find good quality clothing. I look at the name brands, and I know what sells. For example, right here is a popular shirt due to the gingham pattern. It keeps you cool. I bought it from a thrift store for about two dollars! I will sell this item for a bit more money. It’s popular. Women will buy it. Let’s see how much this is. Oh, it’s 28 dollars. How do I decide on the prices? I look around on Etsy (etsy.com). They’ve got a lot of vintage clothing, and I look at the sold items and compare their prices with mine. I don’t want to raise the prices too much. I make it reasonable and affordable. Here in the Niles District, I’d like people to know me for my good prices.
Living here, I’ve passed a lot of stores here for lease. I was tempted to set up a business like my mother did. The buildings seemed expensive to rent, so I’ve called a few to inquire. They were about 2000 dollars a month. I didn’t want to pay that much money. Then, one day I was walking down this street with my mom and went into this store called, “Memory Lan”. My mom said, “why not rent this space?” I thought this was a good idea, so we approached the owner of this store to ask. She said, “Yes! I have a space available. The previous renter had just left.” My mother and I were shocked. We went ahead and got the space. We wanted something cheap and we got it. So, that’s how Red Chair Vintage was established.
Each item has a number on it. Like, number 85 here, and 15, er, 7 there. They have different numbers all the way down this aisle. My space number is 55. That’s easy to remember!
This is a 1950s egg beater. I’m crazy about teal. This was a good finding.
This is milkglass.
I often post things on Instagram, and sometimes on Facebook. Sometimes I get messages from people wanting a certain item so they come here to get it, or we make an arrangement - like, with light clothing for example - to ship. I also sell on Etsy. The clothes that are on display here are not sold on Etsy. They’re separate because I have to pay certain percentages for them. On Etsy, they’re mostly clothes and I keep them separate from the store here.
ALEX: Nice store! You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook @redchairvintage to see what she’s selling in her store or buy from her store on Etsy and you can wear or have things that are from old times past!